Recreativo in trouble as rivals win
© AFP

Recreativo Huelva need to pull out something special if they are to stay in the top-flight as they sunk to the bottom of the table with a 1-0 loss at relegation rivals Numancia. An 88th minute penalty from Jose Barkero won the game for promoted Numancia who moved off the foot of the table at Recre's expense.

Numancia are two points from safety with Recre two points further back with just two games remaining. It was a disastrous result for Recre and to make matters worse rivals Real Betis, Sporting Gijon, Racing Santander and Espanyol all won.

Betis boosted their survival hopes with a 2-0 win over ten-man Almeria to move three points clear of the relegation zone. Betis had lost their last four games to slip down the standings, but goals from former Liverpool winger Mark Gonzalez and 'Arzu' Munoz got them back to winning ways. Almeria had been reduced to ten men in the 19th minute when Jose 'Chico' Moreno was sent off for conceding a penalty with goalkeeper Diego Alves saving Edu's spot-kick.

Espanyol continued their surge to safety with a 1-0 victory over defeated Kings Cup finalists Athletic Bilbao. Luis Garcia scored a 69th minute penalty to push Espanyol four points clear of the drop zone.

Promoted Sporting Gijon moved out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win over Malaga in what was their first win since mid-March. Racing Santander, who qualified for the UEFA Cup last season, are virtually safe after Mario Zigic's 85th-minute winner sealed a 3-2 comeback win over Real Valladolid that takes them five points clear of the drop zone.

Osasuna occupy the final relegation place, level on points with Sporting, and have a nightmare final two games away to Barcelona and at home to Real Madrid.

Elsewhere Atletico Madrid and Valencia face off at the Vicente Calderon later in a UEFA Champions League duel. Valencia, currently fourth, are a point ahead of Atletico while Villarreal moved level on points following their late win over Real on Saturday.

"All the games are important, but Sunday's is the most important," said Valencia coach Unai Emery. "We have to be very attentive in defence when you consider that [Diego] Forlan has 27 goals, [Sergio] Aguero has 16."

On a personal level Forlan and Valencia's David Villa, two goals behind on 25, are trying to catch 28-goal leader Samuel Eto'o in the race for the Pichichi crown for the league's top-scorer.